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Clark Lauds NDDC on Projects, Calls Commission’s Boss a Shining Light

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The Ijaw National leader and Chairman of Pan-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, Chief Edwin Clark, has applauded the Niger Delta Development Commission, , for embarking on projects and programmes that are impacting positively on the lives of the people of the Niger Delta region

Speaking during the commissioning of the 3.2-kilometre rigid pavement Chief Ambakederemo Road in Kiagbodo, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, Clark gave kudos to the NDDC Interim Administrator, Mr Efiong Akwa, whom he described the as a shining light in the Niger Delta.

The Ijaw leader, who was represented by his son, Chief Anthony Clark, remarked that NDDC was expected to be the guiding light for the social and economic development of Nigeria’s oil-rich region.

He noted that the inauguration of the road, which was preceded by the flag-off of donation of education and essential science equipment in Warri, was part of remarkable achievements recorded by the Interim Administrator in his short period as the Chief Executive Officer of the NDDC.

Clark said: “As you commission this Ambakederemo Road, Kiagbodo, today, I want to assure you that we the communities of Kiagbodo, and our neighbours, will ensure that we play our part, that the road will be well protected for the good of the people.”

The elder statesman called on the Federal Government to ensure the sustainable funding of the NDDC, expressing concern that the Commission was still being owed a lot of money by the Federal Government unlike similar bodies such as the recently set up North East Development Commission.

He said that a country where different standards exist for similar organisations was not in the collective interest of the country, stating that this was more so when the NDDC was the body responsible for the development of the Niger Delta region.

Clark stated: “A situation where the Federal Government spends so much on roads, while the East-West Road, running from Edo-Delta-Bayelsa-Rivers-Akwa Ibom and Cross River States, is not funded by the Federal Government, and thus remains deplorable, and has become death traps to users, and a waste of time and resources, as commuters go through the horrendous experience of travelling on the road is quite unacceptable.”

In his own remarks, the NDDC Interim Administrator, Mr Akwa, gave credit to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, for galvanising the Commission to deliver on its mandate.

He paid tribute to Chief Edwin Clark, whom he described as a model leader, who was always looking out for the things that would benefit the people of the Niger Delta region. According to him, the Ijaw leader was more interested in projects that would help his community, in particular, and Niger Delta at large.

Akwa commended the youths of Kiagbodo for being very peaceful and providing the enabling environment for the contractor to deliver on the road, which he noted was a link between Burutu Local Government and Ughelli council area.

The NDDC boss commended the contractor for doing a good job and equally thanked the community for appreciating the efforts of the Commission, promising that another road would soon be built in the area. He said: “Because you like good things, good things will follow you.”

Giving details of the project, the Director, NDDC Delta State Office, Engr. Dr Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua said that solid infrastructure was the pillar upon which any meaningful economic or social growth of any society rested, noting that the security of any community was enhanced by infrastructural development.

He observed that Kiagbodo community, before the construction of the Chief Ambakederemo Road, was prone to perennial flooding, youth restiveness occasioned by mass poverty and unemployment.

The director said: “Today, the story is different due to the conception and implementation of this very important road, and other interventions (projects and programs) by the NDDC over the years. Economic activities are on the rise, the community is now more peaceful as both young and old are now busy with increased access to their farmlands and other business places.”

Governance

We will support NIM in Building Managerial Skills – NDDC Boss

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The Interim Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission, , Mr. Efiong Akwa, says the Commission will support the Nigerian Institute of Management, NIM, in providing a platform for management training in the Niger Delta region.

Akwa spoke when a delegation from the NDDC Chapter and Rivers State Branch Executive of NIM paid him a courtesy call at the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt.

The NDDC Chief Executive Officer assured the NIM delegation that the NDDC would contribute to the success of the South-South summit of the organization slated for August this year.

He said: “We will do our best to encourage our staff to be part of the NIM to tap from its managerial wealth.”

The NDDC boss said that as an interventionist agency, the Commission would support the NIM in providing the platform for the training and improvement of management staff.

Akwa observed that NIM was one of the foremost professional institutions in Nigeria, stating: “Indeed, it could be said that NIM gave birth to other professional bodies in the country. The contributions of NIM cuts across several sectors in the society.

“Members of NIM play strategic roles in different organisations, including the NDDC, where they have been crucial to the successes we have achieved.”

Akwa assured the NIM delegation that the partnership that existed between the two organisations in the past would be improved upon.

He affirmed that the NDDC has stabilized after many years of poor performance, giving the credit to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio.

The leader of the NIM delegation and Chairman of the Rivers State Branch of NIM, Mr Christian Abu, applauded the NDDC Interim Administrator for bringing stability to the interventionist agency, stating: “It takes a man with a high level of management prowess to restore stability to a system such as the NDDC.

“We want to encourage you to continue to pilot the ship of the NDDC in the right direction.”

Abu remarked that NIM had enjoyed a very robust relationship with the NDDC and that was why it created a chapter in the Commission.

He appealed to the NDDC to sponsor members of the NIM to attend important conferences which would help them in enriching their knowledge. “We need your staff, who are our members to attend NIM programmes,” he said.

The Rivers State Chairman of NIM informed the NDDC boss that the South South zone of NIM was organizing a zonal summit in August, which would be attended by over 1,000 professionals.

Abu appealed for support from the NDDC in the area of logistics, particularly in the movement of its members.

One of the council members of NIM and a former NDDC Executive Director Projects, Engr. Beniah Ojum, congratulated the NDDC Chief Executive Officer for his role in the successful completion of the new NDDC headquarters at the Marine Base area of Port Harcourt. He applauded Akwa for bringing some level of stability in the Commission, which he said had contributed to the peace in the Niger Delta region.

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Governance

Governors are holding everybody to ransom not JUSUN – NBA

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The 1st Vice-President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), John Aikpokpo-Martins, has said that governors have not fulfilled their agreement with the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, (JUSUN) who are currently on strike.

Aikpokpo-Martins, said that as things are now, the governors are holding everybody to ransom. “The agreement was very straightforward. They are supposed to have paid last week upon receiving allocations. But when they received the allocations, they didn’t pay.” he said

According to him, the governors are saying that “we should wait for last week of June when they will get another allocation from the federal purse. But the question is: if they entered into an agreement whose implementation was to start this May, what guarantee do we now have that even in that June, they will also not renege?”

He said NBA is working to make sure that work resumes as soon as possible and that he met with the executives of JUSUN and conveyed displeasure over the opening of Supreme Court and other courts for judgements to be delivered or cases to be conducted.

He said that the JUSUN executives denied been aware of it not until when they heard it from people and went there (the Supreme Court) to confirm it themselves. They said they have changed their men stationed at the court. They assured that it will not be repeated.

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